Attack of the Puppet People (1958)
Watch out for giant dogs and over sized telephones!
Director Bert I. Gordon surely had a love affair with Gulliver’s Travels. It seems that anytime I catch his name on a list of credits I inevitably find myself watching a movie mixing tiny people with giant ones or a normal sized Joan Collins battling giant Ants.
This time out we have B film leading man John Agar running into a nutty puppeteer played by character actor John Hoyt. Hoyt to a certain degree reminded me of Vincent Price in House of Wax when he talks about his dolls like Price would about his wax figures. Hoyt keeps the living dolls locked in a suspended animation until he occasionally releases them for his viewing pleasure. The trouble for Hoyt’s perfect world starts when his secretary played by June Kenny is suspicious of him and the sudden disappearance of her fiance adds fuel to her case. Can these tiny people launch a full out attack on their creator? I’m not telling.
Gordon was working with AIP for this production which was run by exploitation specialists James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff. No surprise here to see them slip some footage of another “giant” man into this effort. Agar and Kenny sit back at the drive in to enjoy The Amazing Colossal Man which was another Gordon film. Gordon would continue making films of giant proportions including Village of the Giants in ’65 and Food of the Gods in ’76.
Agar was by this time firmly planted in the sci-fi cycle and his John Ford days were behind him. As years have gone by films like The Mole People and Revenge of the Creature have cemented his place in cult cinema.
John Hoyt may not be a name easily recalled but there is no way anyone who has a love of classic television would not be able to recognize him. He seemed to appear in practically every series on the small screen from the early days of the medium into the eighties.
Silly fun but don’t expect the superior Incredible Shrinking Man.